Paul, an apostle—sent not from men nor by a man, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from the dead—and all the brothers and sisters with me, To the churches in Galatia:
Did you grow up into the kind of person you dreamed about as a kid? I didn’t. I wanted to be a doctor. I watched Dr. Kildare, Ben Casey, and any other doctor related series on TV. I also sat glued to my TV when they would broadcast operations. These were in the days of black and white, so there really wasn’t much in the way of blood and gore to be grossed out about.
I went to the local library and read every book related to medicine in the children’s section. I then naturally moved up to the adult section and started pouring through books on surgery and anatomy. That’s when my medical career came to a screeching halt. My dad saw some of the illustrations in these adult medical publications, and I was told to read something more appropriate.
I really don’t think that Paul was playing in his sandbox in Tarsus, when all of a sudden, he looked up to heaven and said, “I’m going to be an Apostle.” He never planned it. It wasn’t something his parents wanted him to become either.
Actually, no one really chooses to become an Apostle. It’s just the opposite. You don’t do the choosing, instead you are chosen. An Apostle is someone who’s selected and sent out as a representative of the sender. An Apostle is given two things.
Mission. The Apostle is given a set of instructions about where they are to go and what they are to do. They are told what their responsibility and authority is.
Message. The Apostle is also told what to say. They don’t speak for themselves or give personal color-commentary. They are given information that they are to share with the people they are sent to.
An Apostle doesn’t have any authority or power of their own. They act and speak based on the authority of the one who sent them. They carry someone else’s power and are to use it as they were instructed.
There are no self-made Apostles. You don’t work your way up some organization chart, rising up the ranks until you eventually reach the top. Apostles are appointed by people with power and authority.
This was true for the Apostle Paul. He wasn’t chosen by sending in a resume and being interviewed for the job. A committee didn’t talk to a bunch of candidates, choosing the most qualified. No. Paul was selected and sent by Jesus Christ and God the Father.
And what are the words right after this? What’s so important that it has to be said right up front, at the top so no one could miss it? The resurrection. All of Christianity either rises or falls on the resurrection. It is the glue that holds everything together.
And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.
1 Corinthians 15:17
Without the resurrection, then there is no forgiveness of sins. Without the resurrection, Jesus was either a liar or out of his mind when he predicted it. Without the resurrection, Jesus falls from being the Son of God and slides into just another crazy, overly excitable street preacher from long ago.
But the resurrection did happen. It’s the thing that everyone points to when you think about Jesus. The resurrection is like Cinderella’s Castle at the Magic Kingdom, or Spaceship Earth at EPCOT. It’s the main thing you see when you come in. Everything is built around it. You can see it from everywhere you go.
The physical resurrection is also tied into who Jesus said he was. He didn’t just claim to be another in a long line of rabbis or street preachers. He didn’t claim to be just another prophet wandering through Judea. No, he claimed something much more radical.
I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die.
So, right up front in this journey through the book of Galatians, are you convinced that Jesus literally and physically rose from the dead? If you are, then you are also someone who’s sent with authority and a message to share. We are to spend our days worshiping and serving the one who died for us.
It's time to live out our lives for him. Starting right now
What’s so important about Paul being sent by Jesus Christ and God the Father?
What’s the Mission and Message that God’s uniquely given to you?
How has the resurrection of Jesus impacted your daily life?
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